July 26, 2013

Root fails to come of age

Also revealed: the story behind Pattinson's injury, and Cook's plans for a tattoo

Root fails to come of age despite Ashes heroics
Despite being named Man of the Match for his all-round performance in the second Test against Australia, baby-faced batsman Joe Root is reportedly yet to come of age. "We've been monitoring his upper lip for fresh sprouts of new hair ever since his 180 in the second Test, but so far we've got nothing, nada, zilch," said Andy Flower.

"It's weird, because normally for such an important, potentially career-defining innings you ordinarily wouldn't have to think twice about using a phrase like 'come of age', or at the very least, words like 'mature' and 'developed' to describe the person in question. In Joe's case, however, he seems to have very much remained a barely pubescent child even after the fact," said a worried Flower.

Amit Mishra on verge of some kind of mid-life crisis
The much-emphasised youthfulness of India's team in Zimbabwe appears to have taken its toll on one man who has suddenly started to feel his age. As his team-mates frolicked and gambolled about like young colts at pasture during a practice session at the Harare Sports Club, Amit Mishra looked on from the sidelines and wondered how frighteningly fast life seemed to have passed him by.

"What just happened?" muttered a dazed Mishra to himself, as he unwittingly went about setting his hair in a way that covered up his bald patches. "Have I just become the oldest guy in the team?"

Mishra could then be observed bowling in the nets while wearing a ridiculously thick gold chain around his neck.

Injury a part of revenge plans - Pattinson
An emotional James Pattinson has revealed that the back injury that has forced him out of the ongoing Ashes series is but a part of his long-term plans to avenge his brother's treatment in England.

"They say revenge is a dish best served cold," warned Pattinson with a gleam in his eye that would have been malicious were it not for the fact that it was partially caused by tears. "Well, by the time I play against England again, the dish will not only be cold, but quite possibly stale and beyond its expiry date."

"Oh God, I think I feel sick," he added.

Vanuatuans in uproar over DRS
While it's no secret that the DRS is a controversial topic in the known cricketing world, the system is apparently just as unpopular in far-flung parts of the globe, and perhaps none more so than in the tiny island nation of Vanuatu.

As the country's sports minister said, it is not just the idea or concept of the referral system that has so many people incensed in Vanuatu, but also the symbol used to signal the referral.

"In our culture, when you plant your fist up perpendicularly under your forearm, you are effectively telling the recipient of this most debased form of abuse that he is 'not worth the salt of his mother in law's ill-begotten sweat', which is pretty much the worst thing you can say - or infer through vulgar gestures - in Vanuatuan society," he explained.

The minister went on to say that the preferred alternative should by all rights be a simple raising of the middle finger in the umpire's direction when disputing his original call.

Sammy signals dressing room for new pacifier
When Darren Sammy signals to the dressing room and the third man runs out bearing a box of fresh, brightly coloured pacifiers to choose from and replace the one he has already been sucking, the opposition knows they're in for a hiding.

An expectant hush descends upon the crowd as Sammy unwraps pacifier after pacifier from its packaging and tests each one out by giving it a few hard sucks. "If it's towards the end of the innings and just a few more overs remain, Darren will usually opt for one with a meaty teat and a wide, brightly coloured handle," explained a team-mate.

"It's no secret that there's nothing more motivating for him than saluting the birth of his new child by reaching a personal milestone and then celebrating it by sucking on the right kind of rubber dummy to fit the mood," he added.

"What new child?" said Mrs. Sammy. "I wish everyone would stop making assumptions and looking for things that aren't there. Just do as I do, and learn to accept Darren for who he is: a grown man who sucks pacifiers in front of a televised audience of millions for no other reason than that he enjoys doing it."

Cook dangerously close to getting some kind of tattoo
With Ashes success virtually guaranteed, England captain Alastair Cook is perilously close to compromising his clean-cut, good-boy image by getting some sort of tattoo, sources confirm.

"Stats indicate that given Cook's success, first as a model England player and now as captain, he is poised to do something reckless that he will most likely regret for the rest of his days," said whatever the name is of the guy who wrote the book Freakonomics, and its follow up, Super Freakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance.

"That reckless act will most likely take the form of something etched permanently onto human skin in ink, which more likely than not will be some kind of hokey variation of the Three Lions crest," said the source, whose latest essay, entitled "Get a Tattoo First if You Want to Become a Cricketer" is set to be featured in a new book that will be out later this year.

R Rajkumar tweets here